Being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) is not what I had envisioned it to be. I was a full-time working mom up until our second child was born. I have to admit, I enjoyed working and then coming home to see my smiley first child. The first couple of years were nice because we had family helping us out. Our son was fed and bathed by the time one of us picked him up. Once he started preschool, it was a little more challenging because if he was sick, one of us had to take a day off work to be home. But we made it work. We knew that once our daughter was born, it would be hard for me to work outside the home. So it just made sense for me to stay home and raise our kids full time.
You know the saying “the grass looks greener on the other side?” Well, it’s not all that green on either side. When I was working outside the home, I wished I was home to be with our son; play with him, take him on outings, etc. Now that I am home, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. The kids demand so much of my time. At least when I was in an office, I could take a minute to get coffee or go pee, alone. At home, even the dog won’t let me pee alone. I remember wearing my daughter in a sling so I could pee without her crying for me.
But I had a hard transition from working outside the home to becoming a stay at home mom. I felt a sense of individuality, a sense of independence lost, lost in the mix of my daily chaos. Working outside the home, my reward was a pay check or a compliment from my boss and team. I didn’t get that type of acknowledgment at home. And my love language (based off of “The Five Love Languages”) is words of affirmation so you can imagine how I was yearning for this attention. I started to put pressure on myself that being at home, I should be able to care for the kids, do pick-ups and drop-offs, manage the bills, cook and clean. It’s a lot of work, non-rewarding work.
So what did I do? I got a job working from home. What was I thinking?! As if my life wasn’t busy enough, I decided to add more stress to my day. I enjoy working overall and I feel like I am contributing back into my family. I know I was already contributing with running the household, but bringing home a pay check is just my way to valid my role. And I can say that I’ve tried because if I didn’t, I would always wonder about it.
For you mamas who are at a crossroad on deciding whether you want to work or stay home, or go crazy and do both; my advice is to do what works for you and your family. Now that I have experienced all three sides, I don’t know what I like better. Maybe for this season of my life, working from home is what makes me happy. I know one thing for sure, my family comes first. If my job wasn’t flexible, I would not have taken it. I will do this as long as I can, but not at the expense of my family.
What side(s) have you experienced and what advice do you have?